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PROFILE: "I like having nice visuals and nice ideas behind them"

PROFILE:

Monday 05 April 2021

PROFILE: "I like having nice visuals and nice ideas behind them"


From traditional drawing and painting to making social commentary with digital collages, a local artist has opened up about his work as his next exhibition approaches, just over a year after he decided to become a full-time artist.

Charlie Haydn Taylor will be exhibiting at Private & Public from 16 April, along with Poppy Faun and Elsbeth Shaw.

“It’s been a whirlwind year,” Charlie Haydn Taylor says. A statement that would ring true for many but especially so for the Pop Artist.

 
 
 
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A post shared by Charlie Haydn Taylor (@charliehtdigital)

Pictured: Charlie decided to dedicate himself to his practice full time in the middle of the pandemic.

After working as a Graphic Designer while selling his work on the side, he decided to dedicate himself to his practice full time in the middle of the pandemic after returning to Jersey when the virus thwarted his plans to move to Amsterdam.

Charlie’s artistic journey started at a young age - “I was always creative,” he says - but his practice evolved from traditional drawing and painting in the early days to a digital practice. 

“When I was in secondary school, my uncle was a Graphic Designer and I gravitated towards computer-based art and digital art,” Charlie explains. “It is just a tool I am drawn to, I always found it was something I really enjoyed. The computer is just a tool, I could do all those collages by hand and they would be exactly the same.

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Pictured: Charlie's love for collages started in his teenage years.

“When I was 16, I became mad about pop art. I was making handmade and digital collages. I recently found an old sketch book from that time and it’s kind of a low brow version of what I am doing now. I was taking pictures of my friends and using them in my collages.”

Inspired by his art teacher, a former student of the Royal College of Art who saw potential in him, Charlie then attended Kingston University and Goldsmiths. The latter had a real impact on his work and how Charlie approaches it.

“Goldsmiths really put the strain on the ideas, they were never too forceful in terms of the visual but there had to be a concept behind the piece,” he says.

“I always say my work includes some sort of social commentary about different issues,” he adds. "I am really set on concepts, I always want to say something that is important, prevalent at the moment. I spend a lot of time coming up with ideas, the perspective and finding images that would fit.

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Pictured: Charlie includes black and white figures in his collages as a way of highlighting the issues his work touches upon.

“It’s an observation of things that are going on, it’s not a one-sided, shoving it down their throat kind of thing, I want to highlight issues that are going on. 

“That’s why I have always liked using the black and white figures. If the subject is pharmaceuticals or mental health, I like using those figures because they are from a time before those issues were discussed. If I juxtapose them to the issues, they are highlighted more, and I start imagining how would those people react in that situation. It highlights how much we have changed as a society.”

Charlie’s collages not only include bright colours, an obvious reference to pop art, but also works from Damian Hirst, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons among others.

“I have been mad about art for a long time,” he says. “I really like that adding other art can be used as a reference to the subject matter. It’s fun, I really enjoy it, it kicks my interest. 

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Pictured: “I really like that adding other art can be used as a reference to the subject matter," Charlie said.

“It’s nice to see people trying to engage with that and seeing more details as they go on. I like that people are consciously engaging with the work. I like having nice visuals and nice ideas behind them, but if people engage with one or the another, that’s fine. It does not matter if people miss the references, if they like it visually then that’s enough.”

Charlie’s collages not only include bright colours, an obvious reference to pop art, but also works from Damian Hirst, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons among others.

“I have been mad about art for a long time,” he says. “I really like that adding other art can be used as a reference to the subject matter. It’s fun, I really enjoy it, it kicks my interest.

“It’s nice to see people trying to engage with that and seeing more details as they go on. I like that people are consciously engaging with the work.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Charlie Haydn Taylor (@charliehtdigital)

"I like having nice visuals and nice ideas behind them, but if people engage with one or the another, that’s fine. It does not matter if people miss the references, if they like it visually then that’s enough.”

Charlie’s first solo exhibition will take place in April at Private & Public, it follows a number of group exhibitions in the space, as well as others in Florence, Leeds and London. 

Chris Clifford, the owner of Private & Public and a fellow Goldsmiths alumnus, was the first person Charlie approached when he decided to become a full-time artist. 

“I love speaking about art, I am really interested in art history, we got on like a house on fire,” Charlie says. 

“The next show is going to be a very bold, colourful show,” he explains. “It’s going to be memorable, very in your face, with a shock factor. You will be immersed in one of my pieces, it will be like you are there. People should really remember it and feel like they have entered a new place.”

This article first appeared in March's edition of Connect Magazine, which you can read HERE.

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